Following protests by Hindu groups who say they've used the swastika as a religious symbol for millennia, Germany announced Monday that it has dropped plans to outlaw the sign throughout the European Union.
In Germany, even carrying this sign has led to a conviction in court
Germany, which currently holds the EU's rotating presidency, still wants to make Holocaust denial illegal throughout the EU to stem racism and xenophobia.
"Public incitement of violence and hatred or the denial or trivialization of genocide with racist or xenophobic motives" should be criminalized EU-wide, German officials said in Brussels on Monday. "But the plan does not include a ban on certain symbols such as swastikas."
The German EU presidency hopes that EU members will come to an agreement on the plan during the meeting in Luxembourg on April 19 and 20.
A similar attempt to make Holocaust denial illegal by Luxembourg in 2005 was blocked by Britain, Denmark and notably Italy, where Silvio Berlusconi's center-right coalition was still in power. The new Italian government under Romano Prodi introduced a national bill over the weekend that would impose jail time for inciting racial hatred.
In Europe, only Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Poland, Romania and Spain have laws that specifically target revisionism.
Ukraine has halted its mission to recapture buildings in towns held by Russian separatists for Easter. Though the holiday has brought an uneasy truce, tensions remain high.
Police in Belfast have arrested one man in connection with the shooting death of a former leader of Continuity IRA, a splinter group of the Irish Republican Army. The shooting was carried out in broad daylight.
Violence and sanctions have taken their toll on Sudan's image among European investors. Many don't want to do business with Khartoum. Now Sudan is trying to change that and is particularly looking towards Germany.
Christians are celebrating Good Friday in honor of the crucifixion of Jesus. In the Philippines, nine men were nailed to crosses in a bloody annual spectacle before thousands of onlookers.